||From the Vault...
© A&M Records
Year of Release: 1969
Bird On The Wire
Lawdy Miss Clawdy
She Came In Through
Hello Little Friend
Darling Be Home Soon
Joe Cocker related sites:
This 1969 release became my first discovery of Joe Cocker, as a young child.
Having this album on vinyl, it was one of many albums regularly played. Of
course with all of the wear and tear of playing this album continuously (as
many others), the vinyl became worn. When compact discs became the new source
of music, I was shopping at a downtown Chicago Record Store (Tower Records), and
I noticed this album on CD, as I obviously grabbed it. Today, this released has
been given the re-issue treatment, with the original and bonus tracks. This
release for review contains the original tracks only, as it brings back
such great childhood memories, as I still enjoy this album to this day.
In Cocker's early career, his albums consisted of cover tunes by well-known
artists of the day. Each song on this release (with the exception of two) is
just that -- penned by such artists as John Lennon-Paul McCartney, George
Harrison, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen, Joe Cocker presents his
own unique style, giving each song a different texture that that of the original
artists who recorded them.
Bob Dylan's "Dear Landlord" opens this release, and being a great
tune to start the album, it is one I always enjoyed listening to, dating back
to the vinyl days. Leonard Cohen's "Bird On The Wire" is a sweet ballad,
fitting Cocker's voice perfectly.
Cocker's rough-edged voice rocks perfectly on Lloyd Price's "Lawdy Miss
Clawdy," likewise on The Beatles' "She Came In Through The Bathroom
Window." Where The Beatles' version may have a more pop sound, Cocker's
exceptional voice gives it a more rough edge.
"Hitchcock Railway" written by an unknown duo of Dunn/McCashen,
is another great gritted-voiced rock song. On the vinyl release, this ended
the first side, where 4 of the 5 songs featured the rough-edged rock voice
of Joe Cocker.
Side Two is a more softer side, consisting of ballads, rather than
rough-edged tunes. "That's Your Business Now" (written by Joe Cocker
and Chris Stainton), was another heavy-played tune in my early childhood, with
its upbeat pop style. George Harrison's "Something" is a truly beautiful
version by Cocker; not only his vocals are outstanding, likewise the musical
arrangements, as well.
Another upbeat rock song is the classic Leon Russell tune, "Delta Lady."
Russell recorded it himself on his self-titled release, yet Cocker's version
stands out as the true Classic. "Hello Little Friend" was also penned
by Russell, and is another sweet soulful ballad, yet this was probably the only
song that was the least played when my vinyl copy was still listenable. And
the closing song, John Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon" is another
great soulful ballad for Cocker's voice, where his voice is rough to start
with, yet it fits perfectly.
Joe Cocker has rocked great classics throughout his entire career (now
past its third decade!) Likewise his ballads have also been true Classics.
In either case, his voice stands out as enjoyable, whether it be rough as
heard in such classics as "The Letter" or "Unchain My Heart,"
his voice in his ballads become just as classic, as in "You Are So
Beautiful" and many ballads heard on Joe Cocker! Rock has given
us many unique voices, and Joe Cocker's is truly one of those. His voice
has blended many styles: Rock, Soul, and the Blues. From his earliest years,
to his more recent albums, Joe Cocker can still belt out great tunes, and
with a little help from his friends, his tunes give a great flavor to those
songs written by other well-known artists.
© WSVNRadio.net. All rights reserved.
Review or any portion may not be reproduced
without written permission. Cover art is the
intellectual property of
and is used for reference purposes only.